Oct 12, 2020


The Monday Knee Jerk Reaction: AFL Finals Week Two


Footy is a passion, not some cold hearted, spread sheet dominated rational exercise.

On a Monday, you want irrational reaction. You want emotion to trump reason.

What you really want is idiotic hysteria.

You’ve come to the right place.


Richmond (80) v St Kilda (49)

Where week one had a plethora of great, close games, week two delivered us rubbish.

This game could have been close, but the Saints kicked for goal as if their sole aim was to give as many St Kilda fans heart attacks as possible.

When they weren’t butchering easy shots, they were having them taken away by the ARC.

That’s the wonderful thing about the ARC, it can deliver incorrect decisions, but unlike the umpires, it takes a lot longer. What a great system.

Richmond was not exactly in world-beating form in this, they took their opportunities, which St Kilda didn’t, but if the Saints had been accurate, this could have been very different, amazing considering Ryder, Carlisle and Long weren’t playing.

Adding to Richmond’s slightly off night, Tom Lynch continued to, well, just be weird.

He dropped his knee into Saints defender Dougal Howard while Howard was on the ground, which while not exactly brutal, was just stupid, cheap and totally unnecessary.

It wasn’t tough, it was cowardly. Damien Hardwick said afterwards ‘The fact of the matter is it’s a big boys game,” which was both inane and incorrect. A ‘real man’ if that’s still a thing these days, doesn’t drop a knee into someone who is defenceless on the ground.

The most annoying thing is Lynch doesn’t need to do it, he can play tough, crashing packs and legally bumping people, this stuff is as necessary as playing board games at a dinner party.

But while St Kilda can be pleased with their season and should be proud, they have built a platform for future success, Richmond’s season is very much alive.

Shai Bolton has grown this year and the Tigers have not touched their ceiling yet if they can just lift slightly over the next two games, another Premiership is very much within their grasp.

If they do win, the Victorian Government should consider letting tattoo parlours open for just a couple of days, they’d make up their lost income in 48 hours.


Geelong (100) v Collingwood (32)

Reviewing this game is a bit like reviewing a monster truck driving over a Suzuki Swift, there’s not a lot to really say. To call it a contest would be doing a grave disservice to the word.

It was basically a demolition on prime-time television that should have come with a viewer warning.

It was so one-sided, that if I was a nicer person, I’d have felt sorry for Pies fans.

Instead, I was just disappointed Channel Seven didn’t show us enough images of Eddie McGuire, it seems when the Pies are winning, they cross to him so often it’s basically a feed of Eddie occasionally interspersed with moments of football.

Geelong seemed determined to prove they can stand up in a final, while the Pies didn’t seem determined about anything.

Collingwood’s high point was running onto the ground, but that was the extent of their efforts on the night. In hindsight, it was amazing they did that and it would have been better if they had got lost Spinal Tap style in the bowels of the Gabba.

The Pies were comprehensively smashed in every part of the game imaginable and some that aren’t.

Patrick Dangerfield dominated up forward, and Tom Hawkins bounced back from a terrible performance last week, kicking accurately and managing to not belt anyone.

It was over so early, and you could see the Pies players looking at each other in dismay in the first quarter, knowing what was coming was going to hurt worse than reading people debate an issue on Twitter.

The Cats would be feeling good about this performance, but it’s hard to really judge where you’re at when you push against what you think is a locked door and instead the whole house collapses immediately.

You’d like to think you were really strong, but it may be the structural integrity of the house wasn’t quite up to standard.

That all said, the Cats couldn’t have done any more, they brought the intensity, it wasn’t their fault their opponent had already gone on their end of season trip.

My new book Cheat: The Not-so-subtle Art of Conning Your Way to Sporting Glory is now available for pre-order.  

At the moment I’m barely able to work, so you can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. It’s greatly appreciated. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus



Oct 12, 2020

Bravo Titus + Bravo St Kilda! Whilst the Saints ultimately went down, they've won a lot of friends this year.
It wasn't just the ARC; why Cotchin's decapitation of Zac Jones wasn't reported is a mystery (well, not really; he's a protected specie). Likewise, Lynch's attack with elbow on the head of the hapless St Kilda player who was obliged to leave the ground with blood flowing so freely that it soaked his jersey.
Great to see a working example of the AFL ensuring that player's heads are protected, and "it's not the intent, it's the outcome" that matters. In Cotchin's case, it was both intent and outcome. He should have been reported immediately and rubbed out for at least 3 weeks.
The vision of Eddie was my highlight for Saturday night, although I did feel sorry for other Pies fans.

Daniel Sanders

Oct 12, 2020

To be fair Collingwood had just flown from Perth to Brisbane. Generally when a footballer is on a plane in October it is for their end of season trip. Perhaps they were confused? Imagine their surprise when they realised they were expected to play a game of football.

Ric Flair

Oct 12, 2020

Maybe if the Saints were better they would have won?

Steve Rogers

Oct 12, 2020

I keep hearing how difficult it is for teams to perform after flying across the country. Mostly from Victorian clubs.
Strangely never from Perth clubs who do it every fortnight

The J

Oct 12, 2020

if lockdown gets extended surely footy season does too, there is a reason why no state has ever been pt in to footyless lockdown, it is unsurvivable


Oct 12, 2020

Titus please dont ever tip the cats again!

The Ho Brothers (Brayden, Brody and Brock)

Oct 12, 2020

"The Victorian Government should consider letting tattoo parlours open for just a couple of days. They’d make up their lost income in 48 hours."

We used to suspect there was a direct correlation between a team's average area of tattooed skin and that team's increased chances of victory. But after GEEL vs COLL that correlation is thrown into doubt.

'(We also corrected the grammar in the original quote.)

DP Machine

Oct 12, 2020

Completely agree with the comments of STI above (yes, an unfortunate abbreviation) - Lynch didn't do any of these 'brave' acts when at the gold coast - wonder where he learnt it? Cotchin is super brave - and super protected. Basically a sling tackle, via the head, after the play, when the player wouldn't have expected any contact - got nothing. Likewise his collecting of Shiel during the 2017 prelim - anyone else would've gotten 1-2 weeks minimum - got nothing. AFL tribunal is a joke.


Oct 12, 2020

Masterclass from the Cats & the very tanned, relaxed looking Chris Scott. Qld's weather seems to agree with him but extremely weird seeing Vic footballers with tans.

WA Bogan

Oct 12, 2020

At times I was starting to tell sorry for the Pies, but thankfully Channel 7 switched to Eddie at key junctures and I thought, nah f*#k them. I'll never get these 2.5 hours of my life back...


Oct 12, 2020

If you think the ARC is bad, the NRLs Bunker is probably worse: it costs a bundle, the Bunker officials are in a remote location somewhere in Sydney, and it feels like there’s a stuff-up every weekend, with a pointless ‘apology’ the following Monday.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with playing board games at a dinner party. The distraction keeps everyone busy means you don’t have to actually talk to people.


Oct 12, 2020

"That’s the wonderful thing about the ARC, it can deliver incorrect decisions, but unlike the umpires, it takes a lot longer. What a great system."
So true - and at least we know where those grainy camera's from the 70's and 80's ended up!

The g train

Oct 12, 2020

Some random thoughts:

The first half of Geelong v Collingwood was more one sided than a Möbius strip. Which is impossible, of course.

Regarding the ARC incident that clearly cost St Kilda the game: the adjudicator obviously misinterpreted Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. That the curvature of space is only of any significance when dealing with massive planetary objects, not with footies and fists.

Regarding Tom Lynch’s knee being dropped onto a defenceless person lying on the ground with an exposed
neck....that’s even outlawed in UFC. And a few other jurisdictions as well.

That the Cotchin-Jones incident escaped even a mention by the AFL sums up everything about the AFL tribunal “system”.

Can you actually “crash packs” with no intent of marking or attempting to spoil a mark?

Jake Carlisle missed 5 games this season and St Kilda lost 4 of them. No Carlisle, No St Kilda.

Did the tv commentators persistently refer to Dusty as “Martin”? Crazy...

I’ve never praised the comments of anyone else. That’s the type of person I am. But Daniel Sanders—bravo. That was almost Titusesque. Almost.


Oct 12, 2020

Spot on mate and I'm an ex vic. Good teams deal with playing interstate and the associated travel.

Collingwood finished 8th for a reason, they weren't that good. They got thrashed by Melbourne which spoke volumes.

And I hope they keep playing Mason.

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